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Interview Alpha Protocol: A Game of Subtlety and Intrigue

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Tags: Alpha Protocol; Obsidian Entertainment

Play.tm has posted an <a href="http://play.tm/interview/23521/alpha-protocol-with-ryan-rucinski/">interview</a> with Ryan Rucinski, the Senior Producer behind Obsidian's Alpha Protocol.
<br>
<blockquote>Obsidian and Sega believe they've struck gold with the original premise behind Alpha Protocol, an RPG that dismisses fantasy worlds, or sci-fi futures in favour of a gritty, geo-political present. Jason Bourne would be proud. Alpha Protocol is looking like Mass Effect meets James Bond, and we're promised a game of subtlety and intrigue, where conversation and plot are perhaps more crucial than guns and fists.</blockquote>
<br>
Bold promises, or typical hype-speak?
<br>
<blockquote>The biggest risk we had with our concept being set in the present day and not some far away future or mystical land was the fact that we wouldn't have any crazy technologies or magic to call upon to make it game-y.</blockquote>
<br>
One can assume they don't need crazy technologies or magic to make stuff like "bullet storm".
<br>
<blockquote>Great effort was taken with the writing to make sure that we didn't fall into any of the traditional pitfalls. In fact, the story had to be written several different ways to take the player's decisions into account, making it quite the endeavour.
<br>
[...]
<br>
When the player isn't buying, selling, in a dialogue, or researching intelligence for any upcoming mission, the player will actually be in a mission. The three basic ways to beat a mission is by stealthing through it, blowing away everything that moves, or using technology to hack their way around obstacles. The player can mix it up (and often will have to) to be able to get through the level.</blockquote>
<br>
Sounds promising and reminiscent of Deus Ex. Hopefully they can deliver.
<br>
<br>
Thanks <b>Starwars</b>.
<br>
Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/">Iron Tower Studio Forums</A>
 

sheek

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They won't. They're going to rush this and try to appeal to the console market. With a project canceled and the market I just don't see them caring about Kodexian RPG design philosophy at the moment.
 

Mantiis

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Since when is Deus Ex an RPG. Hell if it's like Deus Ex I'm buying.
 
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Mantiis said:
Since when is Deus Ex an RPG. Hell if it's like Deus Ex I'm buying.

Hear hear! This is the first time that I've seen the hype for this game strike the vaguely right notes. Promoting it as an RPG was always a bit silly, basically going for the 'moden-day-mass-effect' without even middling character customisation or party mechanics. The whole way through my concerns were 'why aren't they even TRYING to promote this as an unashamedly continuation of the gaming style that Deus Ex/System Shock 2 started. There is a world of difference b/w a dumbed down rpg and an unashamedly intelligent shooter - for a start the latter one could, in theory, (considering need to reduce complexity and allow for lack of a keyboard) be reproduced for consoles. If FO1 came out on consoles with shiny graphics, the kiddies would be confused and hate it. But is Deus Ex was remade on consoles, with no dumbing down, there would be haters from the Halo scene, but I really do think that enough of them would 'get it' for it to be profitable.

Whilst I'd prefer a good RPG to a Deus Ex spiritual sequel, I'm much more confident that the latter could be produced. And I'd still be excited as hell if a game got 2/3 of the way there.

Edit for further thoughts: you know in the early 2000s as rpgs were getting dumbed down, I genuinely thought that Deus Ex would be where the games would go. I.e. they're dumping party, ultra simplifying things to arcady-dumbed-down-real-time combat, going FPS etc. But yet still keeping the game fun and intriguing - not as good as a great RPG on my tastes, but still a good game. I'd have missed my old genre, but not PC gaming.

And it ALMOST went that way. I look at Oblivion and FO3 and think 'so close, yet so goddamn far'. It's like the tide ran in to caress DEx at the high water mark, and then fell back into the gutter where it festered and produced Bethesda. It reminds of the music commentators talking about Split Enz in the early 80s / late 70s - this innovative out-there sound that could have been the next big thing, but then punk came around, and so there was never a follow up to what Split Enz was doing. DEx SHOULD have been what happened when Bethesda and consoles trashed the rpg genre - the genre would still have been trashed, but at least something playable could have arisen from the ashes:-(
 

Volourn

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L0L Sega hyping up an Obsidian game when they just canceled (?)/put on hold (?)/what (?) another Obsidian game? Obviously, Sega doesn't have as much faith in Obsidian as they claim if that's the case. LMAO
 

Tigranes

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Only in the World of Volourn.

Generally sounds good, but as with most others, I'll wait and see... if there are one too many 'bullet storms' or not.
 

spacemoose

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Great effort was taken with the writing to make sure that we didn't fall into any of the traditional pitfalls. In fact, the story had to be written several different ways to take the player's decisions into account, making it quite the endeavour.
:)

When the player isn't buying, selling, in a dialogue, or researching intelligence for any upcoming mission, the player will actually be in a mission. The three basic ways to beat a mission is by stealthing through it, blowing away everything that moves, or using technology to hack their way around obstacles. The player can mix it up (and often will have to) to be able to get through the level.
:(
 

Volourn

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"Only in the World of Volourn."

O RLY?

Lets' look at facts, and let's assume the rumours,myths, and innuendo are true as well...

Sega hired Obsidian to develop TWO games including one based on the rather famous Alien IP.

Sega also has other Alien based games in the work.

Sega has shitcanned this Alien game but has kept other Alien based games in developed.

Obsidian has had to as a follow up shitcan some of their employees.

Sega now claims they have faith in Obsidian.

If that was true Sega would have never shitcanned Alien as they would have faith in Obsidian to make it worth.

In conclusion, Sega has proven they have no faith in Obsidian. Stop the bullshit.

btw, This isn't me dismissing AP's potential quality; jut my dismissing the idea that Sega has faith in Obsidian.

You don't shitcan a company's game FORCING them to shitcan employees if you have faith in them.

This would be like Interplay shitcanning BIO's SS, and then expecting the public (and BIo) to believe they stiill had faith in BIO to develop BG.

There is no fuckin' logical sense in that. At all. Ever.
 

Forest Dweller

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Volourn, perhaps Sega just didn't have enough money for Aliens at the moment, and Alpha Protocol was further in development.
 

butsomuch

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Volourn said:
Sega now claims they have faith in Obsidian.
Where did Sega claim they have faith in Obsidian "now"? I can't find such a thing in the interview.
 

DarkUnderlord

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Volourn said:
O RLY? Lets' look at facts, and let's assume the rumours,myths, and innuendo are true as well...

Sega has shitcanned this Alien game but has kept other Alien based games in developed.

Obsidian has had to as a follow up shitcan some of their employees.

Sega now claims they have faith in Obsidian.

If that was true Sega would have never shitcanned Alien as they would have faith in Obsidian to make it worth.
Sega don't have the funds to continue deveopment of all their projects, had to make a decision on what to cancel for now based on how far along development was, Aliens RPG had yet to have any details announced and was still in relatively early stages of development compared to other projects, so they put it on hold. They're waiting on the outcome of Alpha Protocol to determine whether they re-evaluate their decision at that point. Given it's in a suspended state, Obsidian had to fire staff who were working on it that they couldn't use elsewhere.

If Sega truly had no faith in Obsidian, they wouldn't have kept funding Alpha Protocol. Their intent is to focus on one game, get it out, generate revenue from it and if it's successful, kick the other project into life again. Hence why Obsidian hasn't made an announcement. They can't. They simply don't know if Aliens RPG truly is dead or not yet. Sega had a net lost over $147 million last year and predicted another $244 million loss this year. They had to cut something.

I'll go further and say Sega even considered cancelling Alpha Protocol as well. A few people heard that and that's why the "Obsidian are on the ropes" rumour came out. Though they ultimately decided not to drop it as it was almost ready.
 

The Feral Kid

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Aliens RPG had yet to have any details announced and was still in relatively early stages of development compared to other projects, so they put it on hold

Where "relatively early" should be replaced with "lack of progress" or "lack of direction". The game has been in development since 2006 and sega expected to have a clear outline of where the game stands now and where it's headed. Something that Obsidian seemingly failed to provide.

If Sega truly had no faith in Obsidian, they wouldn't have kept funding Alpha Protocol

That would be suicide on Sega's part. AP was in the final stages of development when Sega reviewed their projects and decided to take action, so whether they're happy with it or not it's too late to back off now. Unlike Aliens rpg. So when they decided to reevaluate their situation it only makes sense they stopped development of a game that its status and outcome is uncertain, but kept supporting a game that kept to its schedule and direction from start to finish. It doesn't show they have faith in Obsidian by not canceling AP, rather that they're not stupid enough to cancel a game that is almost finished and at a reasonable time-schedule and cost.
 

Forest Dweller

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We can't really know how far along Aliens is/was, except that it's not as far as Alpha Protocol.

And it's interesting to hear DU's thoughts on the matter. I suppose "Aliens RPG is dead" is just more of an attention-grabber, amirite?
 

Vaarna_Aarne

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Well, conversation being important is a fair chance, with the talk about one-time dialogues and all. And dialogue is the strong point of Obsidian and Avellone.
 

serch

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The Feral Kid said:
Where "relatively early" should be replaced with "lack of progress" or "lack of direction". The game has been in development since 2006 and sega expected to have a clear outline of where the game stands now and where it's headed. Something that Obsidian seemingly failed to provide.

Your source?

If Alpha Protocol surpasses the selling expectations of Sega, they will probably pour some money again in the Aliens project. This is a difficult thing to happen as they don't have resources to put into marketing, journalist bribes, whores, drugs...
 

MetalCraze

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Vaarna_Aarne said:
Well, conversation being important is a fair chance, with the talk about one-time dialogues and all. And dialogue is the strong point of Obsidian and Avellone.

Nobody said you will use them on a mission - even quite the contrary - and judging by the "bagging" chick dialogue posted in some preview dialogues with secondary characters can be quite a crappy filler.

Also I wouldn't get my hopes high for this shooter - Obsidian is struggling to make even a decent RPG most of the time - I doubt they will make a decent shooter considering they have absolutely no experience (especially compared to shooter giants from LGS/Ion Storm).
Multiplatform also doesn't help - you are guaranteed to have a retarded re-gen which completely ruins any challenge - stealth or not and slow and thus boring combat - because gamepads are slow. You can't even take anyone's weapon.
 

Hümmelgümpf

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skyway said:
Vaarna_Aarne said:
Well, conversation being important is a fair chance, with the talk about one-time dialogues and all. And dialogue is the strong point of Obsidian and Avellone.

Nobody said you will use them on a mission - even quite the contrary
Nigga please. What about the arms dealer and the embassy guard?
 

Dionysus

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skyway said:
Also I wouldn't get my hopes high for this shooter - Obsidian is struggling to make even a decent RPG most of the time - I doubt they will make a decent shooter considering they have absolutely no experience (especially compared to shooter giants from LGS/Ion Storm).
Yeah, Obsidian hasn't even made an original RPG system yet, and I haven't seen them significantly improve the combat/level design in the sequels that they have produced. AFAIK, the lead designer's notable accomplishments are all games that draw their rules and combat systems from established sources. What are the chances that they will suddenly create an original action RPG (or shooter with stats) on par with Deus Ex? I won't get my hopes too high unless I find that they hired a bunch of people from LGS, IS, or Monolith. But I like this sort of game, so I'll be happy if it is only as good as Bloodlines or Invisible War.
 

fastpunk

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Spacemoose said:
Great effort was taken with the writing to make sure that we didn't fall into any of the traditional pitfalls. In fact, the story had to be written several different ways to take the player's decisions into account, making it quite the endeavour.
:)

When the player isn't buying, selling, in a dialogue, or researching intelligence for any upcoming mission, the player will actually be in a mission. The three basic ways to beat a mission is by stealthing through it, blowing away everything that moves, or using technology to hack their way around obstacles. The player can mix it up (and often will have to) to be able to get through the level.
:(

What? What's wrong with the second quote? That it's mission-based? Fuck that, it's an ARPG after all. I will be perfectly happy if that statement is true, it's great to choose how to handle situations.
 

Darth Roxor

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I still hope this game will be good. Comparing it to Mass Effect all the time doesn't look good, but at least they also promise important dialogues and stuff, so maybe, just maybe, it'll be possible to complete it both HOLYSHITSWEATINBULLETS and the low combat way.
 

Jaesun

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Darth Roxor said:
Comparing it to Mass Effect all the time doesn't look good...

You need to remember, the main stream media thinks Mass Effect was a good game. :lol:

So that's not a bad thing to say in an article.

I'm just hoping OEI can pull off good combat, C&C, good story, and an overall enjoyable game, I'll be happy. I'm just hoping it sells well so we can get my fucking Aliens RPG!
 

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